We have a mammoth edition of information today that have arrived in the inbox over Easter. There are lots of competitions for funding, help for exporters, an opportunity to see Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty tomorrow morning (Friday 9th April), one or two lighter observations, including my favourite April Fool joke for 2021, and much, much more.

Webinar news

The IQVIA webinar, on app prescription for secondary care, that was originally planned for 14th April has now had to be moved to the 28th April. I am hopeful that those who have already registered will not need to reregister.

Our next webinar therefore is on 21st April on Precision Medicine, It will be in two parts: the first will deal with what is precision medicine, role of digital health/big data and how the UK landscape is shaping.  In the second part, we will zoom into specific use-cases and hear from perspectives: pharma, innovators and health systems.

Thereafter, we have a webinar forming for 19th May with Kryptowire giving us some live demonstrations of their penetration testing system.

Regarding past events, we now have the recording and slides for our previous webinar, Digital health is changing the roles of doctor and patient: what impact on developers? uploaded onto the website. 

Other events

DHACA has a strict policy of only promoting events we’d be happy for our members to attend. And then we don’t believe in filling our newsletter with full descriptions; just enough to encourage those interested to click on the link to find out more.

Kings Fund (virtual)

The Kings Fund is holding an important event entitled Digital Innovations in Health & Care: looking ahead  on 24th-27th May. This virtual conference will explore the new and exciting digital innovations that have emerged during the pandemic, and assess their potential impact and benefits. “We will hear from leaders of  national bodies, international experts, industry representatives, patients and policy experts on how we can ensure the digital revolution delivers to its fullest potential, while attempting to prevent any negative consequences.” Highly recommended, as are all Kings Fund events.

SEHTA (virtual & live)

SEHTA is planning to hold their 2021 International MedTech Expo & Conference as a combination of a Live & Virtual event on Friday 8th October at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel (same venue as they had planned for 2020). “The SME focused healthcare event for driving collaborations between Business, Care & Clinicians & Academics”.

Reuters (virtual)

Reuters is holding its DIGITAL HEALTH: scale digital health across care settings event on 16th-17th June. “This is a decisive moment for healthcare. The cat is out of the bag… The pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in the healthcare system and critical concerns around cost, access and equity. But there has never been – and we will never again see – a greater opportunity to leverage Digital Health to provide virtual, predictive, preventative care. This moment must not be lost.”

The rise of Digital Therapeutics

Last week’s webinar, a recording of which is now on the website, complete with presentation, gave a clear pointer to a future world where digital technology is able to supplement medical judgement substantially more than at present. Examples given included sensor companies already mentioned in this newsletter such as  Empatica, which can identify wearers with Covid-19 when the wearer considers themself asymptomatic.

Another company that moved further into the limelight this week is Pear Therapeutics which announced a multitude of partnerships with makers of wearable & ingestible sensors, smart watches and smart software. These included EmpaticaetectRx (digital pills – was Proteus before its time?), Keywise (digital biomarkers), and Winterlight Labs (cognition assessment via speech analysis: “We want to help seniors live independently with quality lives.”)

Meanwhile Better Therapeutics is raising money to trial their lead product, a prescription app for people with Type 2 diabetes that’s designed to help control blood sugar levels through cognitive behavioral therapy aimed at eating behaviors.

There seems to be less news of developments in the UK/Europe which may just mean that such organisations take a different approach to publicity before they are ready for mass rollout. Bending the definition of “digital therapeutics” just a tad, one I happened to trip over recently is Cambridge-based Closed Loop Medicine (“improving patients’ lives by creating closed loop models of care”): they have  a development pipeline that integrates Drug + Digital + Device for the treatment of some of the biggest challenges facing global health systems – sleep disorders, hypertension, chronic pain and metabolic disease.

Finally on a more general point, the time to start removing the “digital” from “digital health” has surely come when even mothers-to-be can scan their own foetuses at home – see Mobile Self-Operated Home Ultrasound System for Remote Fetal Assessment During Pregnancy.

This is clearly a fast-moving field so if there is any member wanting to promote their own development in this area, or aware of other impressive ones, please get in touch with me.

And finally…

  • The AI APPG is looking for “visionaries and AI entrepreneurs”. Their offer is: “A Peer Network of business leaders, investors, academics, politicians, policymakers and civil society. Opportunity to Impact the financial, business model, social, political and regulatory future with Artificial Intelligence and related technologies. Contribute to Thought Leadership and Deep-Dives. Their next event is on 10th May on “The New UK AI Strategy: How should it look like?”. To attend this event/join the APPG you are asked to complete this sign up for Big Innovation Centre’s Pavilion 2.0 – very confusing. These meetings can be quite interesting although I yearn for more depth, and tire of Zoom backdrops that periodically swallow shoulders and arms.
  • NHSX is advertising for a Head of Digital Mental Health. No closure date is evident currently on the advert, which also contains this circular comment “Please note that the reason for the fixed term of the contract is this is a limited term project.”
  • David Wallder is searching for “a Head of Quality on behalf of an expert contract developer and manufacturer specialising in respiratory products, based in the North West of England.” Remuneration includes a “handsome six-figure salary, an excellent long term incentive plan, along with usual large company benefits”. Contact david@wallder.com
  • Doubtless showing my age and origin, I hate seeing language mangled rather than it being told how it is – a recent example in the DHACA inbox is “Automating the Employee Offboarding Process“. In the past when someone left, even ensuring that all their relevant explicit knowledge was captured was hard. Now with so much recorded on email, social media etc., implicit knowledge and even some tacit knowledge is retainable, so it makes sense to check that access to it is preserved only for approved use. However whilst companies employ humans, retaining a good relationship with past employees by personal attention to departure detail, unless they left under a cloud, is surely better than automating it. Using a long word when “leaving” is understood by everyone feels unnecessary too.
  • The APPG for Longevity’s Levelling Up Health Launch – Live with Rt Hon Matt Hancock is at 10:00 tomorrow 9th April. Prof Chris Whitty is also speaking: it should be essential watching for all members!
  • New executive agency launched to help Europe’s recovery from COVID-19. The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), will be responsible for implementation of relevant European Union (EU) financial programmes including the EU4Health programme, the Digital Europe programme and parts of the research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe. As the “A” and the “S” are next door on the English keyboard, I guess it’ll be only a matter of time before “HaDES” evades a spellcheck of an important document.
  • Talking of the new Horizon programme, a call for Strategic Digital and Health Technologies is opening today, 8th April. A full list of current calls and future calls is here.
  • The DIT is offering an important webinar for all companies keen to export to South America on 5th May entitled Uruguay as a gateway into MercorsurRegister here before 28 April 2021.
  • DIT London, DIT Singapore and PWC are running a webinar for UK HealthTech companies on 29th April about technology opportunities in Singapore
  • The DIT is also running a webinar on the Digital Health landscape in China which takes place on Tuesday 27th April at 9:00 BST.
  • The LSBU Simulation for Digital Health (SimDH)  Programme has now opened to applications for Cohort 2Simulation for Digital Health (SimDH) is an enterprise support programme delivered free by London South Bank University (LSBU), and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
  • US Aid’s view of 5 Things COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Digital Health
  • The Birth Injury Justice Centre has compiled the most in-depth resources nationwide to help guide and assist families with disabilities caused by physical birth injuries.
  • Oxehealth has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted a De Novo clearance for its Oxehealth Vital Signs product, which is incorporated into Oxevision, the vision-based patient monitoring and management platform delivered as software as a service
  • My favourite April Fool joke this year is telemedicine for dogs with the call to visit your dogtor online.
  • The EURASANTÉ BIO-ACCELERATOR has issued a call for projects, and offers help with European commercialization if that is a key factor for your company’s growth and development? Apply before 4th June, 2021
  • A new regulation is going into effect in the US that will give patients easier access to their digital health records through their smartphones. While health IT experts have been calling for interoperability for years, they say this particular rule could finally be a major step in achieving a meaningful level of data sharing far beyond what’s been seen before in the healthcare sector.
  • Mary Hudson, Deputy Director for Digital First Primary Care confirms that DHACA can indeed take some of the credit for the NHS including Total Triage in its revised operational planning guidance.
  • A quick reminder that under UKCA legislation these medical devices need to be registered in the UK by May 1st 2021:
    • Active implantable medical devices
    • Class III Medical devices
    • Class IIb implantable medical devices
    • IVD List A
  • Finally a reminder of the UKRI’s excellent Funding Finder.

Thanks as always to Prof Michael Short for pointing me to items I might otherwise have missed.

With kind regards,
Charles